Chose to Forgive

By Pastor Karen Adams

Our Christian life will be strengthened and character built when we chose to do things God’s way. The world doesn’t understand how to forgive. Their approach is “an eye for an eye”. No wonder so many people are spiritually blind. We have plucked one another’s eyes out to the point of spiritual blindness. God has a supernatural way to deal with offenses, hurts, and sin. It’s what His Son demonstrated on the cross when He said “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do”.

As Christians, our character should be one of forgiveness. The bible tells us that “freely you have received, freely give”. Yet we see in Christian believers so many times the struggle in the area of forgiving others. Years ago when Brian first told me he was writing a book about forgiveness, I remember asking him, “Why would you write a book on forgiveness? Everyone knows you have to forgive.” Little did I realize how ignorant I was to make such a statement. As months past after the publication of his book, The Power of Forgiveness, calls came in day after day. I overheard time and time again people that had been Christians for years that didn’t know how or even if they could ever forgive people that had hurt them or done them wrong. Watching the power of God come and set people free just by releasing and forgiving others that have hurt or sinned against them was life changing. The circumstances each caller found themselves in was all different but the common denominator was one thing – unforgiveness.

I love the fact that even as I am typing right now on my computer the “red squiggly line” underlines the word unforgiveness. The word unforgiveness is not recognized as a word. When I go back to see why the computer gives me this alert, I see that it also gives me options to correct the problem. I can choose to ignore the word, add it to my dictionary or replace it with another word. If I ignore it, the word unforgiveness remains. If I add it to my dictionary, I now can use the word over and over again in any sentence that I type and it will not correct me again. That’s what many do. We know that as Christians we are not supposed to walk in unforgiveness but we keep it in our heart and carry on with life. After a period of time our hearts add the unforgiveness to the dictionary of our hearts. So we continue in unforgiveness allowing the enemy access to our souls. What if we would chose to replace the word unforgiveness with what even a computer that has no heart suggests? Forgiveness. The computer will not make the correction for me. I have to choose to forgive.

Make the choice today. CHOSE TO FORGIVE. Forgiveness cannot change your past and events that have happened in your life but it can sure change your future.

Attractive is a Choice!

The word attractive has been on my mind lately. Everyone wants to be attractive. There are millions of dollars spent every day on face creams, fat burners, gym memberships, teeth whiteners, hair products, etc. All because people want to be attractive. Wanting to better yourself is a good thing. However, it’s not just the outward appearance that makes a person attractive.

I have met many “pretty/handsome” people, but their attitudes and actions were ugly. They were NOT attractive. I think of the scripture Matthew 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and every impurity.

Oh the Pharisees made sure their robes were just right and walked around with pious looks, but look what Jesus said to them! He said their insides were full of every impurity. When I think of impurity, I think of a river teeming with trash. Picture that. What an ugly mess. No one wanted to hear what the Pharisees said because they were ugly in their ways, they were hypocrites, no doubt mean, prideful and downright unattractive to everyone but themselves. Even if their way was right, who would want to listen to them? They set a bar so high, no one could reach it, yet they esteemed themselves as having done so. How foolish!

Attractive obviously means pleasing to look at, but another one of the definitions is having beneficial qualities or features that induce someone to accept what is being offered.

As Christians, we have the greatest gift living on the inside of us. We have THE answer to life’s problems and situations. We should be the most beautiful, kind, caring and attractive people on planet earth.

Galatians 5:22 says But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness If we, daily bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, forbearance (extend mercy), kindness, goodness and faithfulness in our daily walk, would that not be attractive? When unfair and frustrating things happen in your workplace, if you respond with the fruit of the Spirit, while others respond with the fruit of their flesh, would that not be different? Would you not be more attractive in this situation? Why? Because you are putting on humility and displaying Christ.

Studies show that attractive people get better paying jobs, better positions, and garner more favor than an average looking person. And we have all seen that happen. However, I believe that greater is He that is living in us – and that if we would just allow Christ in us, to be the hope that shines out of us, we would be the most attractive people around. (And I also believe this attractiveness would transcend any physical qualities we lack!)

Yes, I know there will always be people who will hate us. I get that. But if they hate us because we are displaying the love of God, they hate God, not us! However, there are people we are all called to reach and they aren’t looking for a pious, religious zealot. They are looking for a kind, compassionate, caring human being who can show them there is a better way; a person who is approachable because they can tell (by our actions) that we CARE. There are many people who call themselves Christians, but display hate, anger and rage. I want to tell them- you don’t identify with me! Quit saying you are a Christian if you don’t act like Jesus! Now, do we hate sin? YES! Do we hate people? NO. For far too long, many in the church have blurred this line! We must speak the truth in love and we must separate the sin from the sinner. Remember, Jesus died for the vilest sinner! We were ALL sinners before we came to Christ. Jesus died because He loved us. Love is attractive!

What I am saying is – being attractive is a choice. Just like we choose to brush our hair, wear make-up or cologne, we can choose peace, and joy and to extend grace. We can choose to handle chaos with grace and turmoil with peace. How? By submitting ourselves daily to the Lord. The Book of James says we submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee. People are watching how we handle life and they are looking for answers. And while we may not be able to choose what comes at us, we can choose how we respond. We can choose to react in a hateful, mean, ugly way, or we can respond in love, and attract His will into the situation. When we attract His will, we become attractive to others who desire His will, even if they don’t know it.

Matthew 5:16 says “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”– In the same way – which way? The same as when a light is sat on a lamp stand to give light to others – not hidden away, no the word says it should shine before all. We are to let Christ shine. The more we let Him shine through us, the more love, peace and grace will come forth from our lives. We will be a cool drink for someone on a hot day… We will be wisdom to the confused and hope to the hopeless. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is attractive. It is life. It is breath. It is love.

For everyone who is searching, it is what they are searching for. Not everyone will receive and not everyone is searching, but for those who are, let’s be attractive. May our lives attract those who need an answer and may we be ready with grace and love to speak it to them! Let’s show people that we care and that we love them. Let’s be Jesus to them. When Jesus was on earth, He attracted crowds of thousands with His words and His love. Jesus displayed beneficial qualities or features that induced people to accept what He was offering. He was attractive. He attracted followers; He attracted people who needed healed, set free and loved. They were drawn to Him, not to the religious Pharisees! They were drawn to love.

It is the goodness of God that draws men to repentance. (Romans 2:4) We cannot back away from sharing that God is good because some leave off the repentance part. No! Proper use is : the goodness of God will draw men to repent! We attract people with His goodness and then we share, in love, the need for repentance. THAT is attractive.

Let’s choose to walk in His love and choose to be attractive. Let’s let Him shine through us!

One Step at a Time

By Pastor Karen Adams

Psalm 37:23 says “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way”. God orders the steps of a good man. It’s amazing to me that it doesn’t say “God orders the LIFE or even the DAY of a good man, but it says he orders the STEPS of a good man.” He is concerned about every little detail and every little step of your day”. He wants to take the lead in your life.

Romans 8:14 says “For as many are LED by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. We must recognize that the Spirit of God’s role is to LEAD. We pray for the Lord to guide us every day but many times only to the places we want to go. It’s like dancing. If a woman tries to take the lead, she ends up stepping all over the man’s feet. If we allow the Holy Spirit to take the lead, whether you are in a season of the waltz or the foxtrot you can enjoy the dance, because He is leading.

The definition of the word step in the dictionary is simple. “a movement made by lifting your foot and putting it down in a different place.” It refers to small movements. There are steps in life that we can’t skip. You never started in 7th grade skipping grades 4, 5, and 6. You are promoted one grade level at a time. In our spiritual lives, we often want to skip steps that God is ordering for us. So many times the Lord has to speak to us and say, “Hey, you skipped a step. You need to go back and do that again”. Shortcuts often cause us to end at destinations we never intended to be. We miss what the Lord had for us- new experiences, new skillsets, and new revelations of Him.

Steps and order are mentioned in another verse. Psalm 119:133 says “Order my steps in Your Word and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” What a heart! Order my steps in Your Word! Order in our lives according to the Word of God must consist of first, seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Order in our lives must follow biblical patterns of putting the spirit first, soul (our mind, will and emotions)second, and the body to follow. To get our steps right we have to allow the Holy Spirit to establish order! Things are never in order when you put soul first, body second and spirit last.

I challenge you today. Give the Holy Spirit permission to LEAD. When He leads He establishes order, and once we have His orders we can begin to take ONE STEP AT A TIME to be all that we can be in Him!

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